There are so many versions of this tasty, simple rustic pizza that can be found all across Italy, and it is considered a great example of peasant food since it is both filling and inexpensive to make. In many regions, thinly sliced potatoes are used to top basic pizza dough most often with no tomato sauce. Instead, the pizza is created by simply combining some shredded cheese, thin slices of potatoes, fresh herbs and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
In southern Italy, mashed potatoes are used to make the dough which results in a very tender, delicious crust, and this potato crust can be topped with a variety of toppings like any pizza. I tasted my favorite version of this pizza at a little panificio (Italian bakery) in Martina Franca. The pizza crust was made with mashed potatoes and then the pizza was topped with chunks of potatoes, a mix of cheeses, some chopped rosemary, sea salt and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil. This is my variation of this pizza……very similar to the one I tasted in Puglia with just a couple of small changes. This pizza would also be absolutely delicious cut into thin wedges and drizzled with a little truffle oil just before serving!
Deborah Mele 2011
A traditional style potato pizza similar to those found in Puglia,
For The Dough:
- 4 Large Baking Potatoes ( About 1 1/2 Pounds)
- 1 Package (2 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 4 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 3 Ounces Fontina Cheese, Cut Into Thin Slices
- 1 Cup Shredded Asiago or Parmesan Cheese
- 3 Slices Prosciutto, Cut Into Thin Strips
- 1 Teaspoon Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- Sea Salt
- Cracked Black Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Peel the potatoes, cut into quarters, and cook in salted boiling water until fork tender.
- Once cool, take 1/3 of the potatoes and rice or mash the potatoes into a bowl.
- Cut the remaining potatoes into slices or small cubes and set aside for the topping.
- Place the yeast in a cup with 1 cup of warm water, and stir and wait until it is bubbly.
- Add the yeast mixture, the olive oil, and salt to the mashed potatoes.
- Begin to add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.
- Using your hands, bring the dough into a ball, and then knead it on a floured hard surface for about 7 to 8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let sit in a warm spot until it is doubled, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Roll out the dough into a circle or a rectangle about 14 to 15 inches across.
- Place the dough on a pizza peel sprinkled with corn meal.
- Place the fontina cheese evenly across the pizza, then spread out the potatoes on top.
- Sprinkle the pizza with the rosemary, strips of prosciutto, sea salt, shredded asiago, and cracked black pepper.
- Drizzle with the olive oil and let sit 15 minutes.
- Bake until the crust is golden brown and the top has begun to crisp, about 20 minutes.
- Let cool 10 minutes, cut into wedges and serve.